Wexford Festival Opera celebrates American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist Leonard Bernstein. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the US to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was ‘one of the most prodigiously talented and successful musicians in American history.’
His fame derived from his long tenure as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, from his conducting of concerts with most of the world’s leading orchestras, and from his music for West Side Story, Peter Pan, Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town, On the Waterfront, his Mass, and a range of other compositions, including three symphonies and many shorter chamber and solo works.
As a composer he wrote in many styles encompassing symphonic and orchestral music, ballet, film and theatre music, choral works, opera, chamber music and pieces for the piano. Many of his works are regularly performed around the world, although none has matched the tremendous popular and critical success of West Side Story.
Wexford perennial favourite Roberto Recchia will direct this celebration. A group of singers organize a birthday party for Leonard Bernstein. They wait, everything is ready, but the guest of honour is late. While they wait, they play, they sing, they read excerpts from his letters. The result is a colourful musical portrait of one of the best loved composers and conductors.
The program will include solos and ensembles from Bernstein’s most celebrated musicals, as well some of his lesser-known songs (including the two cycles I hate to sing and La bonne cuisine).
21 October, 11 a.m.
28 October, 11 a.m.
25 October, 3.30 p.m.
1 November, 3.30 p.m.